Have you ever wondered how the rating system works on the Airbnb platform as a guest? Most people understand the concept of ratings and reviews, but do you REALLY consider how you will be rated as a guest? For those that follow along with me on my blog, you know we own two Airbnb vacation rental homes. So let’s dive into the rating system, and how YOU need to strive for a 5 star review as a guest!
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BECOME A 5 STAR GUEST
Ratings and reviews. It’s what most things are based on these days. TripAdvisor lets guests rate their hotel stay, where they eat, and people like me refer to the platform often to help make decisions for travel or just eating someplace new! I myself love to contribute to TripAdvisor when I run across an awesome place to eat or stay, as I want that place that has gone above and beyond to get credit for it, and help drive business their way! Every place, every company, seems to want you to rate them. Well Airbnb is the same. Not just for you as a guest to see which house is the best place to rent (check out my previous blog on How to choose an Airbnb for Vacation!), but it also lets US the host, rate YOU the guest! You see, many Airbnb hosts ask you to send an inquiry to stay with them. Then, they in turn, look to see if you have had any reviews, and how you were rated. The rating system we as hosts are asked to go by are the following: Cleanliness, Communication, Followed House Rules & lastly, do we recommend you as a guest.
Recommend You As A Guest
Most of our guests are brand spanking new to the Airbnb platform. Some have never stayed in a vacation rental home before. So they don’t always understand certain things, primarily this: You are staying in someone’s HOME, not a hotel. What does this mean? Well, for starters, treat the property with respect. Treat the home as if it were your own, or better yet, your favorite relative! Just because most homes charge a cleaning fee, doesn’t mean you should trash the place. People are used to going to a hotel and seeing the cleaning crew come in and magically all the towels and linens are sparkling white. Well, these laundry fairies they have are huge industrial machines and a separate crew who do nothing but laundry! Most Airbnb homes either clean the place themselves or they hire a local person to come in and clean for therm. It takes a good 4 hours or more, depending on how bad the guests have left the place to do all the cleaning, washing of sheets etc. So always remember, there’s a REAL person working their butt off to get the house in great shape, as when you arrived and found it!
So let’s begin with Cleanliness on your possible 5 star review. Did you leave the place tidy and picked up, no trash laying around? No big spills on the couch or rugs? Basically, did you pick up after yourself during your stay? One thing I’ve noticed at times is that people love to move the furniture! I have NO idea why. Sometimes they literally move things from one room to another. It would be helpful if you have the need to do this, to just put it back where you think it goes. And how about cleaning out the fridge when you leave? No one wants your leftovers! Now, if it’s an unopened item, never used, still in it’s packaging, our cleaning gal might be thrilled with that But half eaten food, nope. Just throw it away!
This is where Airbnb wants you to communicate with your host on your plans. When you expect to arrive, what are you coming to the area for, who all is coming with you and when you expect to depart (meaning approximate times of day. Are you coming in super late in the evening? Are you heading to the airport super early on check out?). Why do they prompt you to give this information? Well it helps us as host prepare the house just for you! As a host, if I know it’s an Wedding Anniversary trip, or someone’s birthday they are celebrating, I like to leave something special for this person(s). Whether it be a card or treat, just a little something to welcome them to our home for their special trip. And we like to know approximate time you’ll be arriving, so we know to leave the lights on for you, or just be available in case you forgot the key code etc. We also like to know who’s coming with you, not necessarily names (although Airbnb does give you that option) but if it’s your family, or friends, grandma….all these little details help us prepare the house for your stay. As a host, if we know what is bringing you to our area, whether it’s for the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum (why most of our guests visit) or you’re here for a wedding, we can give insight to other things to do while you’re here! Lastly, when you expect to depart, so we can have our cleaning gal ready and waiting to swoop in and begin the process. PLEASE remember: DON’T arrive before the stated check in time and PLEASE DON’T LEAVE PAST the posted check out time. Just think about it…..if someone leaves an hour late (yes, that has happened!) and the next guest decides to arrive an hour or so early (yep, that too!) well….that really causes an issue with getting an entire house clean, sheets washed, towels soaked in bleach then washed, not to mention we tidy up the outside too! So please follow the check in/ check out times. Your host will greatly appreciate that!
Well this could make or break you in the 5 star review! House rules. What are the house rules you ask. Well, every host has them. Some of the main rules will be on the listing page, like NO PETS, NO SMOKING, NO PARTIES, but then there’s other smaller rules that a lot of hosts leave in a house binder, like we do. Most of them are simple rules, like common sense rules! But we’ve learned over the past couple years to spell things out for guests. It just makes life easier for all. Whatever your host requires, try your best to follow. One of our main rules is don’t remove the bed linens. I know guests think it is helpful for the cleaning gal to get a jump start on it, but it actually makes her job twice as hard. You see, some people stain our sheets! WHAT?!! yep, you heard me! And if they’re all wadded up in the floor, she won’t see said stain, will put the sheets in the wash and then won’t discover said stain until she’s putting them back on the bed. Well, then it’s too late!! Not only time wise, but stain wise, cause that sucker has gone through the dryer and heat my friends sets in stains! So this is why following house rules are important! But this isn’t the RULE for every house/host. Some hosts prefer you to remove all the linens. So always check the house rules and what is asked of you.
Here’s the last part we are required to rate as a host. Do we recommend you! I can honestly say I have only pushed NO once, in all the guests we have had. And I felt extremely guilty over it! But after talking to other hosts, some are friends, others were just hosts I asked guidance from, they all said the same thing. Would you want this guest to do the same thing to another host/home? And would you yourself want this guest back, ever?!! We’ve had a lot of guests not follow rules, or leave the place dirty, and we’ve had to trash a lot of sheets, pillow cases and towels over the past, but this guest actually failed every house rule, left the place gross and yes, had to wait for them to leave. So, how to avoid being NOT RECOMMENDED. Simple! Clean up your messes, communicate with the host and follow the house rules! If you do all these things, you will be a 5 star guest!! And we LOVE our 5 star guests!! It’s a badge of honor my friends!! Wear it proudly!